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Poster: HektorT Date: Aug 14, 2011 10:20am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is Alice of Wonderland in Paris really public domain?

Yeah, I was just reading that again. I quoted section I of the Opinion. As I said, I am no lawyer ... Anyway, maybe GoodTimes paid for rights before 1991 which would be when the copyright came up for renewal. Or maybe they paid then realized that they didn't need to after the fact, which brought about the lawsuit? It's easy to find people to sell you PD stuff. Maybe videocellar might have more details on the historical facts.

EDIT: In fact the court didn't decide on the issue of whether or not the music when synched is PD

Look here (don't know if this is a summary or what - but it is the court decision):

"Understandably, MPI does not argue that the synchronization rights were part of the motion picture copyright, because they would have expired when the motion picture copyright expired. It also does not argue that the synchronization rights existed separately from the motion picture and music copyrights; if that were the case, because Batjac did not copyright the synchronization rights, they would be part of the public domain

We do not decide whether the synchronization rights existed as part of the music copyrights, the movie copyrights, or independently, because MPI cannot prevail under any theory of copyright law."

Also to answer your question, The court itself was silent on the issue of whether or not paying to license the music was required. In any event, the fact that they paid was not a factor in the decision, just a footnote (shows good intentions). GoodTimes was maybe playing it safe and decided to clear the music. But maybe they paid for nothing, because MPI (who brought the lawsuit) says EMI didn't have the right to sell any music rights. But once again, the court didn't rule on that. Look here:

"GoodTimes lawyers say the only rights that it had to clear were the music rights, which it obtained in negotiations with music publisher EMI. MPI argues that EMI had rights to a soundtrack album but not to the music as part of the film."

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-08-14 17:20:52